R.I.P FEARnet: Comcast Will Soon Fold The Network Into Chiller And Syfy
Well, horror fans, it looks like the glory days of having two genre-themed TV channels will soon be coming to an end, as FEARnet is getting the pink slip Ė or the blood-red slip, as it were Ė from parent company Comcast. Considering the channelís market was limited to specific cable outlets, this wonít affect as many viewers as the dissolution of a more popular brand would, but itís never fun to watch something fail. Especially when Comcast, recently voted the Worst Company in America in a Consumerist poll, is the one pulling the plug.
FEARnet began as a multi-platform network broadcasting both televised and online content, launched in a three-way partnership between Comcast, Lionsgate Entertainment and Sony Pictures in 2010. The latter two companies recently decided to opt out of the deal, according to Deadline, and the constantly growing cable empire bought out their shares before announcing the network would come to an end at a ďyet to be determined period of time.Ē Sensibly, a lot of FEARnetís content will be moved to the similarly thriller-minded network Chiller, with some things possibly going to Syfy. Hereís an indicator of just how small the world is that Comcast is lording over: NBCUniversal launched Chiller a few months after FEARnet made its Halloween 2010 debut, but it (along with Syfy) became Comcastís property when the company acquired NBCUniversal in 2011. Stop competing with yourself, Comcast.
Itís unclear exactly what will be shipped over to the other networks, though. I was really hoping two horror channels would have led to a wealth of original programming, but the only full-length scripted project FEARnet put out there was Holliston, a decent but corny sitcom from Hatchet director Adam Green and Wrong Turn 2ís Joe Lynch. Itís lasted two seasons so far, and itís possible weíll see more of it in the future, though that wasnít part of the announcement. Take a peek below.
It was a bit of real life horror for 15 FEARnet employees, who were laid off after the announcement. Ten workers are staying on elsewhere, and there are plans to find spots for at least some of those who lost their jobs. Network president Peter Block is staying on through the proceedings, but his future plans werenít stated.
This merger will hopefully get Chiller more attention and more funding for better programming. The greatest achievement we could ever hope for is Comcast bringing The Real Ghostbusters (which aired as Saturday morning FEARnet fare) back to larger audiences, especially those of us with satellite. They could do away with a few more networks in order for that to happen as well.
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